Vegan at Vandy: Top Munchie Mart Picks

This week, I taste-tested three vegan products for y’all. Some were winners, others were kind of gross. Here are my thoughts on each.

In my very first post, I talked about loving to buy mushroom jerky just because it’s vegan even though I think it’s gross. By some cruel act of fate, I received an Instagram DM a week after the post went up from an account called @mushroomjerky. They were excited to send me a sample of their brand new all-vegan jerky and welcomed any feedback I might have. Within a couple days, I picked up my little package of jerky at Station B. I now must go on the record for you all and correct my initial statement of disdain towards jerky. Not all mushroom jerky is bad. All of it looks like dog food, but some of it tastes really delicious. This stuff that was sent to me was actually incredible and made from nothing but mushroom stems, avocado oil, coconut sugar, chia seeds, salt and spices. Go follow them on Instagram if you’re intrigued.

Now, onto the yummy snacks you can easily find at your local Munchie Mart without having to give your mailing address to a company you’ve never heard of via Instagram. This week, I taste-tested three vegan products for y’all. Some were winners, others were kind of gross. Here are my thoughts on each. To get a fully-immersive visual and auditory experience of my reaction to each product, check out my taste-test video above.

Kevita Raspberry Lemon Kombucha

I don’t know why I spend so many meal swipes on kombucha. If you’re actually hungry, it’s a terrible idea to use it as an entree since each bottle has like 60 calories. That being said, I do it about three times a week anyway. I just feel so cool when I’m drinking it, and to me that feeling is priceless. Anyway, this brand gives me weird vibes. They use stevia as their sweetener of choice instead of sugar which is dope, I guess, if you don’t like sugar. Stevia is natural and plant-derived so that’s awesome, but it still just tastes a little yucky to me. It doesn’t seem to spike my blood sugar like real sugar would, but it definitely doesn’t taste as delicious. The raspberry lemon flavor wasn’t very special and I probably won’t get it again. I also tried the Apple Cider Vinegar Cleansing Probiotic Drink by Kevita and it was just as off-tasting, but I almost liked it more. I knew it was probably supposed to taste weird since it had “cleansing” in the name.

Lenny and Larry’s Snickerdoodle Cookie

These cookies have so much hype around them. Most YouTube-famous weight-lifting pro-junk-food vegans like @naturallystephanie would rate them an 11/10. I’d give them a strong 7/10. These cookies are massive and dense with 16 grams of protein per cookie. That’s pretty exciting if you’re into protein. The Snickerdoodle flavor is definitely better than their Chocolate Chip in the blue packaging. Both cookies are soft and cakey, but definitely leave your mouth kind of dry and a little chalky. Not the ideal sensory experience I look for when biting into a cookie, vegan or not.

Mike’s Mighty Good Vegetable Craft Ramen

This is genuinely the best thing I have ever purchased from a Munchie Mart. Since discovering this new little cup of noodles, I’ve purchased it again six times. You just peel off the top, dump in the packet of spices and oil, pour in some water and microwave it for a minute. You’ll want to microwave it for more than one minute, but don’t do it. You will ruin your microwave, or in my case, your roommate’s microwave. Instead, just let it sit on the counter for like 5 minutes as you wait patiently. Cooking preparation aside, you will never want to eat anything else after trying noodles. Find them at Branscomb Munchie in the little green cups. The ingredients are super wholesome and completely natural. One cup counts as a side, which means you can just stock up on these little guys like it’s nobody’s business.

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Emily Azzarito

Emily Azzarito is a junior at Vanderbilt. She is studying cello performance at the Blair School of Music. She has performed in Spain, Germany, and twice at Carnegie Hall. More notably, she’s been vegan for two years. For ethical reasons, Emily became vegetarian when she turned thirteen. Five years later, she adopted a vegan diet to support a healthier lifestyle. Emily enjoys sampling vegan fare from restaurants all over Nashville and posting pictures of it on her Instagram. When she’s not eating piles of salad, she enjoys painting portraits, doing yoga, and lifting weights. Her favorite food is Ben and Jerry’s Non-Dairy Caramel Almond Brittle ice cream.

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